Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Marine Masters Summer Course

Introductory, multidisciplinary Masters Summer Course in marine research

NIOZ offers an annual Marine Masters Summer Course that gives insight into state-of-the-art marine research. This introductory, multidisciplinary course is hosted at NIOZ Texel, with the western Wadden Sea as hands-on research area. The next NIOZ Marine Masters Summer Course will take place 7-19 July 2024.

Oceans and seas make our blue planet liveable. They give us oxygen, food and raw materials. They regulate our climate, by taking up more than 25% of our annual fossil fuel emissions and storing 90% of the heat/energy generated by the greenhouse effect. They harbour the largest ecosystems in the world with a wealth of marine species. The overarching research questions at NIOZ are related to understanding how these marine systems work, how they are changing due to natural processes and human activities, and what benefits can be obtained from them in a sustainable manner. You can read more about this in the NIOZ Strategy 2023-2028

NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research as the national lead centre of marine expertise works closely together with Dutch universities to strengthen marine science in the Netherlands. The Marine Masters Summer Course contributes to this by giving students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with marine research, including the opportunity to experience working on research vessels. The course covers physics, chemistry, biology, geology as the pillars of oceanography. It is hosted at NIOZ Texel and uses the western Wadden Sea as hands-on research area.

Learning objectives of the course

  • To identify current topics in the marine sciences, ranging from marine biology, physical oceanography and marine chemistry to marine geology;
  • to identify and describe methods of sampling and observation commonly used in oceanography, including techniques and instruments used on research vessels;
  • to conduct a group-based research project using basic sampling techniques to collect data in the field, perform laboratory analyses, analyse and interpret obtained data and prepare a presentation of the results;
  • to present and discuss research results in a multidisciplinary framework.

Course content
The course includes a pre-course reading assignment, classroom lectures, field- and lab work, data analysis and an oral presentation. On the first day, a series of introductory lectures on physical oceanography, marine chemistry, marine geology and marine ecology will be given. In the two days thereafter, various equipment and methods of sampling and data collection in the field and in the NIOZ labs will be demonstrated. A major part of the course will be devoted to individual research projects, which will be supervised by researchers from NIOZ. Students will sample and collect data in small groups in the western Wadden Sea on the research vessels Wim Wolff and Adriaen Coenen and/or on the tidal flats in the first week of the course. Depending on the project, this will be followed by laboratory work and/or modelling, data analysis, interpretation of acquired data and the preparation of a presentation in week two. Also, presentations on selected topics representing current research activities at NIOZ will be given in the second week. The assessment will be based on demonstrated performance during practical work, data analysis and the oral presentation of the results.

In order to get an idea of the kind of group projects the course is offering, please have a look at the descriptions of the student projects of the 2022 course and the descriptions of the 2023 course. You can also read the student blogs (2017, 2018, 2019) or have a look at the Instagram Stories of the 2022 course or the 2023 course to find out about the students' experiences.  

Admission requirements
The course is open to students with a BSc degree in studies related to oceanography from Dutch as well as foreign universities. BSc students who have completed their Bachelor course work, but have not yet obtained their degree, can also apply. The course is limited to 33 students. Applications by students in their first or second year of their master studies will be given priority in case there will be more applications than spots on the course. Proficiency in English is required.

NIOZ will inform the student's university about their participation in the course as well as the student's grade. Participation is rewarded with 3 - 4 ECTS, depending on university (ECTS granting needs to be done by the student's university, so students are asked to inquire with their university about the possibility to have the course count towards their ECTS requirements).

Course enrolment
The next NIOZ Marine Masters Summer Course will take place from 7 till 19 July 2024. The registration is closed.  Students who applied will be informed about the selection outcome no later than 15 April 2024. The selection for admission to the course will be done on the basis of before-mentioned admission requirements and given motivation.

Course location, accommodation, meals and course fee
The course is held at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research on Texel. Participants will be staying at the Potvis Campus, ‘t Horntje, Texel, in 4- or 5-person dormitory rooms or other group accommodation close-by, with therefore little privacy. During the course, the students themselves are responsible for the cleaning of their quarters. A contribution of 455 Euro is charged for lodging and meals. For reasons of sustainability, there will be vegan and vegetarian meals only.

For inquiries about the scientific content of the course:
Prof. Dr. Gert-Jan Reichart
Dr. Henko de Stigter

For all other inquiries:
Dörte Poszig, education coordinator